Anything but Stationary

kaaGhazi hai pairahan har paikar-e tasveer ka
Robed in paper are all pictures manifest:
this world is nothing but
Your paper!

by Huma Dar
for my N, Z, many Shahids, and the One

Write to Me.  photo credit: Natasha Dar, 2012
Write to Me. photo credit: Natasha Dar, 2012

The moon did not become the sun. 
It just fell on the desert 
in great sheets, reams 
of silver handmade by you. 
The night is your cottage industry now, 
the day is your brisk emporium.  
The world is full of paper.

Write to me.
Agha Shahid Ali, “Stationery”

(I)
The tilted goblet drips
mocking
Pacific amber:
liquid lunatic luminous.
And makes a slippery mess
of Highway 1
the night
memory and desire —
relentless, ebon, a plumbless
dream of falling.
Like tresses distraught
entwining your imagined arm
(make the bleeding black night
all yours)
your aching memories knotted in my gut
my exiled ghost lost, found
and willfully entangled
again
in the lines of your words
your stone-cold feet in my shaalfa —
an ablution performed in blood.

Blind Orthodoxies

It’s always dangerous to declare generalised love for a movement or school of thought – including Sufism, because Sufism can be subdivided into spirit and tradition, into various orders and popular customs, into the sober and the drunk, the vocal and the silent, the revolutionary and the tame. Still, I’ll say I love it for its symbolic, illogical, individualist challenge to literalism and the obsession with rules, and because it smiles, and for its openness and tolerance, and its music and poetry; because, as Adonis says: “Sufism has laid the foundations for a form of writing that is based upon subjective experience in a culture that is generally based on established religious knowledge.”

Continue reading “Blind Orthodoxies”

“O, God! Have mercy on me! Distracted, I whirl” — Rumi’s Gift

Not frivolously, around the alleys and bazaars, I whirl.
Lover’s temperament, I have — to have one glimpse of my Beloved, I whirl.

by Maulana Rumi

Singing: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Qawwaals

Translated by Huma Dar

Raqs al-Ruhani, al-Qahirah (Huma Dar 2005)
Naa Man Behooda Gird-e Koocha-o-Baazaar Mi Gardam (Huma Dar 2005)

نه من  بيهوده  گرد کوچه  و  بازار  می  گردم
مذاق عاشقی  دارم  پئ  ديدار  ميگردم

خدايا  رحم  کن  بر  من  پريشان وار  می  گردم
خطا کارم  گناھگارم  به  حال زار  می  گردم

شراب شوق  می نوشم  به  گرد يار  می  گردم
سخن مستانه  می گويم  ولے  هوشيار  می  گردم

گھےخندم  گھے گريم گھے افتم  گھے خيزم
مسيحا  در دلم  پيدا  و  من  بيمار  می گردم

بیا جانا  عنایت  کن  تو  مولانای رومی  را
غلام  شمس  تبریزم  قلندروار  می گردم

Continue reading ““O, God! Have mercy on me! Distracted, I whirl” — Rumi’s Gift”